Parliament House for 4 Year Olds.

Parliament House for 4 Year Olds is a delightful new TV series in which young children teach Australia’s federal politicians how to behave. The landmark series will be filmed inside Parliament House, Canberra, and follows the ground-breaking documentary Old People’s Home for 4 Year Olds, which aired on the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) in 2017.

The successful ABC series followed a group of 4-year-old children during their visits to an aged-care facility. The interaction between residents and the children was proven to improve the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing of the elderly participants, and it is hoped the series at Parliament House will improve the basic human decency of politicians.

“The 4-year-olds will teach politicians how to behave,” explained the show’s creators.

“The children will teach politicians and staffers in the nation’s capital basic principles such as morality, fairness, honesty, equality, justice, tolerance and sharing – the basic values that early childhood educators instil in young children every day, and the kind of behaviours that are often called ‘Australian Values’.”

The multi-part series will take politicians and their staffers through activities designed to remind them that boys and girls should be treated equally, that ‘sharing is caring’ and that if someone was using the toys first, it’s not acceptable to just steal those toys and never give them back. Politicians will also learn that it is normal to share the sand pit and swing set with someone who looks or sounds different to you, and that bullying is never ok.

“Boys are now learning that punching or slapping a girl, pulling her hair or pushing her off the monkey bars is not a form of flirting or affection, that it’s actually a form of bullying. In light of this, children will teach the nation’s leaders that if they’re being bullied, they should tell an adult, because the adult will try to help you and not just ignore you.”

Politicians from all parties have been invited to attend, and they will be taught that errant bodily fluids can make everyone sick and are just ‘yukky’.

“We are happy to include the nation’s leaders in our toilet training sessions, and to remind them of the true purpose of bathrooms.”

Children will instruct politicians and their staffers that telling the truth is always important, even when that is difficult, and that it can be harmful to spread nasty rumours about someone behind their back.

“We are also confident that the series will put an end to participants bringing prostitutes into the corridors of power, because a 4-year-old doesn’t even know what a prostitute is.”

Parliament House for 4 Year Olds will not be shown on the ABC, because the politicians participating in the series are the ones currently dismantling the national broadcaster. Instead, the series will be aired after shows such as MKR, I’m A Celebrity and MAFS, because a direct correlation has been found between viewing scripted reality TV shows and voting amoral politicians back into power.

For fans of reality TV shows, they will also have the chance to ‘vote’ the participants off the show at the next election. Furthermore, producers plan to extend the program to state parliaments, where politicians can learn how to avoid physical relationships with people who have been involved in widespread corruption, and that the number 3 million is not the same as the number 30 million.

Parliament House for 4 Year Olds will air at the beginning of next month, and will be available on catch up services.

Parliament House for 4 Year Olds; because 4-year-olds are perfect role models for politicians”

Image: Katrina Knapp

Courage: Berta Caceres.

bertacaceres

Berta Caceres personified courage.

The Honduran environmental activist devoted much of her life to campaigning for the protection of the natural environment and indigenous people of her native land, and only stopped fighting when she was assassinated during a campaign.

Caceres fought for the protection of the natural environment in a country and a region plagued with corruption and impunity among politicians and big business, especially resource companies whose projects threatened the land she worked to protect. International organisation Global Witness once declared Honduras the most dangerous country in the world for protecting forests and rivers.

Caceres knew she faced enormous obstacles and danger. She knew she faced corruption at the highest levels. She knew she faced multinational companies operating with impunity and enormous budgets. She was reminded of these obstacles on a regular basis, throughout her activism, when she received death threats.

She was once quoted as saying;

“…When they want to kill me…they will do it.”

During the lengthy campaign for the Gualcarque River, the Honduran military opened fire on the group of protesters, killing one member. More protesters would be killed. Still Caceres fought.

Courage is encapsulated in the famous quote from Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill A Mockingbird, when Atticus says to Jem;

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”

Unfortunately for Caceres, and the land and the people she protected, the man with the gun in his hand had the backing of many powerful organisations. The company behind the proposed hydroelectric dam on the Gualcarque River, Desa, was eventually ruled to have organised the squad of seven men, yes seven, who carried out the hit on Caceres. A number of the hit squad had been trained by US Army special forces. Thus, it took seven armed men, some with specific military training, to silence one woman.

Caceres utilised her intelligence, her dedication and her courage to peacefully defend the natural environment. Not only did she fight, she often won. The Council of Popular and Indigenous Organisations of Honduras which she co-founded and led staged many grass roots campaigns to protect the environment, indigenous people and women, before the action for the Gualcarque River.

Berta Caceres knew she faced enormous obstacles and danger, but she fought anyway. That is courage.

Image:www.goldmanprize.org